Soft mushy brakes after repair?????

Messages
97
Location
Pa. America
Hi , everyone, so i finally got the old rotors off , i replaced the rotors with new ones and i found on inspection that one of the slide pins in the caliper were stuck so i replaced the the left front caliper. I bled all the brake points , got a little air out of the caliper i replaced as expected, gut now i am having a soft mushy brakes like when air gets in the brake line. Anyone ever see this problem before? I cant imagine what i may have done wrong, i double checked everything , everything seem in order. Can anyone shed some light on this for me? 2004 Toyota RAV 4 2.4 liter engine 198,000 miles. 2 front rotors and left front caliper replaced Thanks, tundraz
 

Tundraz

Thread starter
Messages
97
Location
Pa. America
Thanks for the advice crazyoildude, What is an gravity flush? The way i did it is to have my son pump 3 times then hold down the pedal on the third pump while i release the fluid at the caliper nipple then repeat several times until no air bubble is evident, i did this for all 4 wheels. Did i do it right? I used Penzoil synthetic DOT 3 brake fluid from a new bottle.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Messages
46,294
Location
New Jersey
Yeah, keep bleeding. Take a rubber mallet to the caliper during and before/after the bleed. There is air stuck somewhere.
 
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2,240
Location
california
I am no expert, but I have never heard of the pump the pedal 3 times then hold the pedal down. To me, it seems as if the 3 pumps might turn one big bubble, into many barely visible bubbles in the clear line attached to the bleed screw.
 

Tundraz

Thread starter
Messages
97
Location
Pa. America
Ok, How many times should the pedal be pumped? In the old days days thats the way we did it - pump 3 times -hold bleed, tighten then repeat. Am i doing it wrong on these new cars? THanks Tundraz
 
Messages
433
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Tundraz
The way i did it is to have my son pump 3 times then hold down the pedal on the third pump while i release the fluid at the caliper nipple then repeat several times until no air bubble is evident, i did this for all 4 wheels. Did i do it right?
Did you just open the nipple without hooking a tube immersed into a bottle/container of brake fluid?
 

Tundraz

Thread starter
Messages
97
Location
Pa. America
Chrome , no i drilled a hole in the top of a soda bottle and installed a clear plastic tube in the hole and connect the other end to the nipple. Were i supposed to have brake fuid in the bottle when i open the nipple? THanks, Tundraz
 
Messages
25,985
Location
Upstate NY
Originally Posted By: Tundraz
Thanks for the advice crazyoildude, What is an gravity flush? The way i did it is to have my son pump 3 times then hold down the pedal on the third pump while i release the fluid at the caliper nipple then repeat several times until no air bubble is evident, i did this for all 4 wheels. Did i do it right? I used Penzoil synthetic DOT 3 brake fluid from a new bottle.
This method has been used for years and is very common. Its important that your son HOLD the brake pedal down after it drops (it will drop when you open the bleeding nipple) UNTIL you close the nipple and say OK. You can do what you want with the soda bottle and straw, but close the nipple before he lets up on the brake pedal.
 
Messages
36,528
Location
ME
Is the bleeder nipple higher up than where the brake hose connects? If it's lower, you might have gotten a mis-boxed RF caliper that's on upside down. This won't bleed right.
 
Messages
19,479
Location
Chicago Area
No reason to pump the brakes. It may cause problems with the bleed, and is otherwise useless. A gravity bleed is simply opening the bleeder and letting it flow by itself. Loosen the reservoir cap first, and KEEP IT FULL.
 

Tundraz

Thread starter
Messages
97
Location
Pa. America
Thanks a lot guys, i am going to try the gravity bleed method tomorrow because i am not getting anywhere with the traditional method. Anything else i should know going forward? Yes the nipple is higher than the caliper piston thing, its a re-man Toyota Caliper looks exactly like the one that came off of it. Thanks Guys
 
Messages
1,680
Location
CT
the only thing a "gravity bleed" will do is waste your time and brake fluid. the master is higher than the calipers, fluid is going to flow downward and out the caliper bleeder while air stays in the caliper and floats upwards in the lines. you need to force the air out and that's done by moving brake fluid as fast as possible, which is why there are pressure bleeders. i don't know how old your kid is and whether he understands the procedure... but for a new caliper that is dry you can open the bleeder on it and then pump the brake pedal steadily till fluid comes out. Then with bleeder closed you pump the brake pedal 3-5 times and if it firms up then your getting close to having no air. If the pedal continually goes to floor and does not firm up then you have a lot of air still so leave bleeder open and push fluid out by pumping pedal. This will get the caliper mostly full and the air out of the lines. With bleeder closed, you should pump pedal 3-5 times and it should firm up to where you can only depress the pedal 1-2" of travel versus the entire 8" or whatever it is to the floor. Then with foot holding brake pedal down and firmed up (because of hydraulic lock) the 2nd person then cracks the bleeder at caliper and fluid comes out. When person on brake pedal is about to reach the floor he yells out and then you close the bleeder before fluid stops coming out, this prevents air from re-entering caliper. you do this a few times to get last little bit of air out of the caliper. after that there should be no air in the system and when you depress brake pedal it firms up very quickly and holds. If it doesn't, then you either have air still in the system, a leak, or a bad master cylinder. you do all this with engine off, and make sure the master resevoir is always full of fluid. if the master resevoir runs low and you pump air into the system then you may need to buy a few qts of fluid to flush that air through and out the caliper.
 
Messages
13,256
Location
North Carolina
I've gravity bleed many calipers. I always follow with manual bleeding to be safe. Open the bleed screw ( it should be on top of the caliper). ( car should be reasonably level) When brake fluid comes out steady, tap the caliper rapidly several times with a wrench to dislodge any air bubbles. close bleeder then proceed with bleeding the brakes with an assistant. Have him/her press on the brake pedal ( tell him/ her not to push it to the floor) you open the bleeder and as fluid flow drops off quickly close the bleeder (before the brake pedal is released or air will be sucked back into the caliper). After the bleeder is closed, tell your assistant to release the brake pedal, wait a few seconds and repeat several times until no bubbles come out the bleeder. If doing more than one wheel start at the brake wheel furthest from the master cylinder. My wife is all too familiar with PRESS/HOlD/RELEASE the brake pedal instructions!!!
 
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Messages
19,479
Location
Chicago Area
Don't listen to 1FMF. A gravity bleed is recommended by Bendix brakes in their brake service classes. Simple fluid dynamics. Sure, there are odd situations where it is not feasible . But it works great for most all situations.
 
Messages
11,656
Location
NorthEast
Recently, an esteemed contributor reported that when the upper and lower caliper pins were swapped on his two Honda/Acura vehicles, he got his hard pedal back. You may want to look in to possibility that you accidentally swapped the pins.
 
Messages
2,008
Location
grande prairie AB
Fill the res. Gravity fill the line. Use the push and hold method not the pump and do it to all four corners and you should be good. All my chevs ive had i have done like that and it worked the first time everytime.
 
Messages
2,703
Location
Lincoln, NE
Originally Posted By: JasonC
Take it to a place and just pay them to do it correctly. I usually pay $30-35.00 to flush my brake fluid/bleed.
You can do this. But if you've come this far, why not bleed them yourself too? Give it another shot until it feels right. If you can't get it after a few tries then maybe it's time to throw in the towel..
 
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